Ash anoints the air,
as the Queen of Autumn doffs
and burns her crown of leaves.
At the dawn of solstice,
the Winter King is crowned in turn
with silver, tined with frost.
After three lunations, he secedes
his throne to the Vernal Princess,
who rightwards weaves
a coronet of blossom for her brow.
Yet her realm,
so swiftly won, is as soon lost
and inherited by her blithe brother,
Prince of Summer,
striding forth with golden greaves
agleam, helm as burnished
as ripe apples, before trees
are stripped bare and storm-tossed
again, again: the heritage of seasons
a true monarchy
in which every common soul believes.